Pre-production Zopo ZP998 octacore review

Zopo have been kind enough to send over a pre-production version of their octa-core Zopo ZP998. Keep reading for the pre-production Zopo ZP998 review.

This is not a complete review!

Before we start I want to make it clear that this is not a complete review of the Zopo ZP998. The reason being is that this sample ZP998 is not running the final OS and some of the hardware specifications are different from what the production model will have.

Zopo ZP998 Review

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Zopo ZP998 Design

Looking at photos of the Zopo ZP998 does not do the phone justice! From images it looks like a larger, more polished version of the Zopo ZP980 (Zopo C2) and in many ways it is, but the design offers more than that.

zopo zp998 review

I always though that the ZP980 didn’t feel quite as premium as the hardware and pricing suggested, and worried that perhaps the ZP998 would be the same. This is not the case though! The larger flagship phone feels much more solid and very comfortable in your hand, and feels a great deal better than the previous Zopo flagship phone.

zopo zp998 review

With a 5.5-inch display some of you might be worried that the Zopo ZP998 is just going to be too big, but in actual fact the phone feels more comfortable in the hand that the smaller THL T100S we reviewed recently.

zopo zp998 review

The reasons for the added comfort can be tracked down to the 76.1mm wide body, curved profile which sits nicely in your palm and textured rubberized grip on the removable back panel. After using the 5-inch THL T100S and my own 5.9-inch Oppo N1, I have to say that Zopo have got the size of the ZP998 spot on!

zopo zp998 review

The front of the phone is mostly taken up by the large 5.5-inch FHD display. Above the screen is a front facing 5 mega-pixel camera, light sensor and proximity sensor while the receiver is located top center.

zopo zp998 review

Three backlit capacitive buttons are located on the chin of the phone, and are spaced far enough apart that they don’t feel cramped in use.

zopo zp998 hands on

I really like phones with minimal top and lower edges which give more of a wide stance. The Galaxy Note 3 offers this look and the Zopo ZP998 isn’t far behind. The lack of extra material also means Zopo have kept overall dimensions to just 151.4 x 76.1 x 9.1mm.

zopo zp998 review

As already mentioned, the rear of the phone is coated in a comfortable rubberized finish with leather look texture. The rear is clean and simple with only a rear speaker grill, Zopo logo, rear camera and LED flash on show. The camera and LED get an alloy panel around them which reminds us of the Oppo Find 5 and should offer some protection for these delicate items.

zopo zp998 review

A silver plastic strip wraps around the edges of the phone, punctured here and there which a number of physical buttons. The right edge housing the power button and shutter button for taking photos.

zopo zp998 review

The volume rocker is on the left side and 3.5mm head phone jack in the top while the micro USB sits in the base. The buttons on our preproduction sample of the phone had not rattles and fitted tightly in the body, but have a low profile making them difficult to locate at times. The overall feel of the phone is solid and flex free! A big update compared to other Zopo phones.

Zopo ZP998 display

The 5.5-inch display on the Zopo ZP998 is very good. It might not be has vivid as the panel on the ZP990 but the FHD 1920 x 1080 IPS screen of this octacore phone is still more impressive than the unit found on the THL T100S.

zopo zp998 review

A big display is often more susceptible to scratches, knock and drops, so it is reassuring to know that Zopo have gone with a Corning Gorilla Glass 2 panel to help protect the phone from accidents.

zopo zp998 review

As you would hope for a FHD flagship phone of this price, the IPS panel offers great viewing angles in all but the brightest sunniest conditions, but then again that’s the same as pretty much every phone regardless of brand or price.

zopo zp998 review

During our hands on with the phone we found the display to be fast and responsive and didn’t suffer from ghost touching which we know has been an issue with other Zopo phones in the past.

Zopo ZP998 Performance

Unfortunately the pre-production sample of the ZP998 which we have on test has an unfinished version of Zopo’s ROM installed and we were unable to launch apps which we had installed on the phone, and so couldn’t run benchmarks or even games.

zopo zp998 antutu

Thankfully we were at the launch of the Zopo ZP998 where we did manage to load Antutu on to one of the demo phones at the event which gave us an Antutu score of 28,118.

With a 1.7Ghz octacore MT6592 processor and 2GB RAM on board we have no concerns regarding performance and can confirm that the phone runs all the default apps well. Opening apps feels much more fluid than it does on the THL and web-browsing, video playback etc is all handled in the ZP998’s stride.

Zopo ZP998 – The rest

In addition to the buggy pre-production software, the Zopo ZP998 sample also had slightly different specification cameras so it would be unfair to test those so we will wait to get our hands on a final sample, to post photo samples and make a conclusion there.

zopo zp998 review

The rest of the phone worked well though including NFC, OTG, Bluetooth, GPS etc. As for battery life we really need to wait until the production unit arrives before testing properly but our sample with just a 2400mAh battery only managed to get 8 hours or run time! This while using the phone carefully as possible (switching WIFI, GPS, 3G on/off as needed etc) . Really a device of this size and with this sort of power and hardware we should be getting a 3000mAh battery at least!

Zopo ZP998 Conclusion

This conclusion is only based on the sample we tested at the ZP998 launch and the pre-production sample we have been testing here and although the this phone isn’t working completely as it should we have enjoyed using the device.

zopo zp998 review

The Zopo ZP998 is a well designed phone, a great shape, manufactured well and is almost the perfect compromise for me regarding screen size and overall phone size. As we found with the THL T100S performance is as good on the Zopo ZP998 as it is on a well sorted quad-core Mediatek machine which is fine by us, but we hope to see more apps make use of the extra resources as the year goes by.

thl t100s vs zopo zp998

If I had to choose between the THL T100S and the Zopo ZP998 the Zopo gets my vote of octacore Mediatek phone. It is better built, more comfortable and is overall more interesting to use, but we will keep our final conclusion until we have had chance to review the production model of the Zopo ZP998 in the future.

[templatic_contentbox type=”normal” title=”Where to buy the Zopo ZP998″] The Zopo ZP998 is currently on pre-order through the official Zopo shop for $329.99. [/templatic_contentbox]
Previous Huawei Honor 3X octacore available from 8th January
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  1. Mr Tjin
    January 4, 2014

    Yeah for now i’l just stay away from ZOPO after the last Fiasco they made with pre-ordering the ZP998 .I can say the phone itself looks verry nice .But ZOPO as company will not be receiving any money from me .

  2. Anonymous
    January 4, 2014

    You need to show us the full breakdown of the Antutu score. Just showing 28K doesn’t say much. I/O and GPU performance is important too and you did NOT show it to us.

    • January 4, 2014

      As mentioned in the review I got that Antutu at the launch event. The phone I have to test now is really buggy and won’t even launch Antutu 🙁

      • January 5, 2014

        It won’t as the preproduction units chipsets have no GPU…

        Its hardware not software related.


  3. Cosmos
    January 4, 2014

    same here, I had one pre-ordered and now have cancelled the order and got my money back.

  4. Jason
    January 4, 2014

    Is GPS really working well on this chipset?

    I have read varioust stories that there are GPS problems with the (old) Mediatek chipsets. Did they solve this problem with the MT6592 chipset?

    • January 4, 2014

      It was usually the phone makers skimping on antennas which caused the problems. The GPS on a Mediatek chip is usually good if the antenna that goes with it is adequate.

      • toioioio
        January 4, 2014

        does this or the THL come with adeqaute antennas then?

      • Raymond
        January 5, 2014

        Yup, I too would like to know if the GPS is adequate on the Zopo 998 then. Did you get to review the GPS part?

  5. veitschi
    January 4, 2014

    Thanks to Andi for this sneak Preview. I hope you update your excellent review AS soon AS you get a New Version of zp998. How sensitive is the Touchscreen? Can you Please try with gloves on?

    • luk
      January 4, 2014

      Is it bending? In 2013 Zopo was very famous for this “feature” of their quad core phones 🙁

      Otherwise, it looks very nice!

      • January 4, 2014

        No, it is much more solid than the ZP980, C2 and C3

        • January 5, 2014

          With such “thin” successor I bet It’s rock solid…

          This ZP998 is too fat for comfort.

          • Airyl
            January 5, 2014

            Bullshit. If it’s designed ergonomically, it will be comfortable to use no matter what.

        • Tiago
          January 17, 2014

          Hi andy , do you know if the ZP980+ Octa Core MTK6592 is as good as the ZP998 or does it bend like the Quad core version?

          Thanks for your awesome site!

  6. Luis Aldo
    January 4, 2014

    Good review, but Is there any example of the quality of the camera?

    • January 4, 2014

      The camera on this sample has an F2.4 aperture, the production model with have an f2.0. No point posting photos just yet

      • Luis Aldo
        January 4, 2014


  7. Xesco1983
    January 4, 2014

    hi Andi, any news of amoi a900w and huawei 3c wcdma 2gb ram 8gb rom version? I’d like to change my amoi n828 for something bigger but under 200 dollars… I think I can’t wait for the new mtk xiaomi phone

    • Hasibur Rahman Chowdhury
      January 4, 2014

      Amoi A900w already released and is on sale in tmall. Even I am waiting for huawei honor 3c wcdma

      • xesco1983
        January 4, 2014

        Hope to see a review or videos… it’s impossible right now to see any information of a900w…

        I’d like to know if honor 3c has same screen quality of red rice… I felt in love with that screen some weeks ago in a chinese mobile reseller here in spain

  8. Yasin
    January 4, 2014

    2400mah is really bad indeed it should be 3000mah less.

    I hope it comes with Gorilla glass 3 instead of 2.

    • Stephan
      January 4, 2014

      I hope the same too.. The battery installed it’s too little for a good autonomy…

  9. tweetycontrabajo
    January 4, 2014

    I hate zopo, liars, scammers.
    won’t trust them anymore.

    • January 5, 2014

      This is the perspective Zopo has gained for delivering not only phones full of bugs but also defective hardware. Namely my Zopo C2 touchscreen broke alone on the pocked while I was on my knees.

      They knew the touchscreen was bullcrap and replaced following batches with Gorilla Glass ones instead.

      They rejected my warranty claim and offered a replacement full LCD set for 100€…

      Zopo= overpriced piece of Chinese junk.

      Now I’ve got a Jiake V8 Octacore courtesy of Pandawill and I couldn’t be any happier.

  10. Damianos
    January 4, 2014

    Did the issue with the battery lasting only 8 hours had any relation with the problems they had and postponed the release to the market? Do you think that the final model will last longer?

    • January 4, 2014

      No, it is just a small battery and a big screen. Possilbly due to ROM optimisation though too

  11. Anuj Maheshwari
    January 4, 2014

    Hello andi,
    How can i get that gesture to launch app directly from lockscreen feature on my c2. ThiS will be a app feature??

    • January 4, 2014

      It’s a part of the new ROM. I am not sure if it is coming to other Zopo models though

  12. Totos1234
    January 4, 2014

    ZOPO lies more than speak. How can be this? ZOPO says that they send in short days the production zp998… but they can’t send one to you? is shipping time another lie? My money will be better spent on another smartphone of another company. Don’t buy ZOPO, or your life will turn some months on a bad life…

    • January 4, 2014

      Pre-production sample, this is not a production model

  13. Raymond
    January 5, 2014

    Hi Andi,

    What about Wi-fi.. does it only support b/g/n like the previous models or is ac/b/g/n supported?

    Also, I’m assuming wireless charging is not supported. Am just trying to decide between the Nexus 5 and this one.

    Any help would be appreciated 🙂

    Thank you

  14. Jerry
    January 5, 2014

    Hi Andi,
    Do You have any informations concerning Zopo and its “Jolla” OS?

  15. TONNY
    January 5, 2014

    Hey Andi!!!wish u new year. I am a gizchina follower and i am looking for best phone under 320-330 dolllar.I will be visiting china in a month or two.iwant to consult u which phone to buy.i want a phone which will support further development(qualcom).it should have a great camera tooo.
    plz suggest the best phones..waiting for ur reply.
    thanks in advance

  16. louis zhang
    January 6, 2014

    hi,i have waited for this phone so many days,but it is a so perfect ZOPO phone ever i had seen,maybe i think zopo zp700 also is not bad,the price is so low more than you can imagine

  17. Geovane Barbosa
    January 6, 2014

    What you have to say about the GPS?

  18. Carl
    January 6, 2014

    Can anyone check that this phone have WCDMA 900Mhz?

  19. Bihan
    January 9, 2014

    I hope ZOPO made this to be solid without previous mistakes….extremely attarctive phone ZP998

  20. Emin Tolga Ozdemir
    January 9, 2014

    Still waiting…

  21. 1949deal
    January 14, 2014

    whats the different between zopo 998 and zopo 980+?

  22. happyvibes
    January 21, 2014

    Nice looking phone!

  23. vickilorenz
    January 21, 2014

    Beautiful phone.

  24. simon
    February 22, 2014

    Is it just me but it everyone sick of hearing about Mediatek phones new and old still on 4.2.2??!! Get your act together mediatek, you are either particularly lazy (as let’s face it as KitKat is only going to make the new soc phones perform better, never mind the old ones) or have made such a gludge of hardware drivers that even they can’t get them to phone makers in a useable state. I know I can not expect older gen SOCs to get support ( but would be nice), but the latest ones!?